Montrealer lives childhood dream illustrating new Batman comic
MONTREAL—It may not look it, but the tiny studio at the back of Wes Craig's Plateau apartment is a portal that transports his fans to a number of fantasy worlds.
At a small desk, Craig creates images that excite and that strike fear into the hearts of Gotham City's criminals. The Montrealer was recently hired by DC Comics to illustrate an online version of the caped crusader.
Craig got his start in professional comics almost a decade ago after graduating from Dawson College. He kept submitting artwork to dc comics until finally someone noticed it's clear he loves what he does.
“If I could just keep drawing constantly without my hands or back starting to hurt, you know knotting up or something like that, I would keep on going,” said the artist.
From a young age Craig knew exactly what he wanted to be.
“I still have this book report that I did when I was a kid and it said, like it was one of those, 'What are you going to do when you grow up?' and it said I’m going to draw for DC Comics,” said Craig.
Not just DC. Craig has also drawn for the other big name in comics. One of his more recent assignments from Marvel was on the Guardians of the Galaxy title
But lately Craig has branched out in a couple of new directions. He recently completed work on a digital Batman comic. It's created the old fashioned way but is published online. He's now working on another iconic character
“There's a Superman one that I did after that but it hasn't come out yet,” said Craig.
The artist also has his own project on the go.
“I have a thing called Blackhand comics that's, it's just like web comics, just a series of short stories that I do for my own enjoyment or whatever,” he said.
At Craig’s favorite comic shop, Millennium Comics, the staff know him to be an enthusiastic and generous artist who's made his own mark in a competitive marketplace.
“I think he's got his own voice, something that's a bit rare in comics nowadays when you see an artist and you can instantly recognize like, ‘Oh this is this guy.’ So Wes I think he's a blend of a bunch of styles that make him unique,” said Jonathan Gosselin from Millennium Comics.
The Plateau-area store on Marie-Anne St. is like a home away from home for many of Montreal’s comic book fans, a place that would have appealed to Craig as a child.
While Craig has drawn for a number of titles, being tapped to draw Batman is a definite highlight.
“It was kind of like, finally, here he is, visualize his cape flowing in the air and all that kind of cool stuff, hi-fiving ten year old Wes Craig, you know,” laughs the artists. “The kid version of me is like, yeah I’m doing this and people are paying me to do this. It’s pretty crazy you know.”
The first issue of Legends of the Dark Knight illustrated by Wes Craig was released on Feb. 21: I hate when he does that, part one.